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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    MSE taking forever...

    Hi,

    Is it normal for a Microsoft Security Essentials full scan to take more than 7 hours?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Wimneel,

    There is no "Normal". It all depends on your processor speed, amount of memory, Windows Version, how many files are on your computer, etc. Things that can speed up the full scan time are cleaning the computer of temporary files {I'd recommend CCleaner for that task} and defragging your disk.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Thanks for your answer, RetiredGeek.
    My computer (laptop) is as good as new, 2.40 GHz processor, 4,00 G RAM, running Windows 7 64-bit. I use CCleaner regularly, +- once a week, but haven't defragged yet. I have less than 100 GB in files on my internal hard drive and around 400 GB on the 3 external disks that are included in the scan.

  4. #4
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    What kind of external disks?

    Just the fact they are on external disks will slow down the process considerably. You could do a quick test by timing how long it takes to open a representative sampling of files off each disk. Simple math will give you an idea of the transfer speed you are getting for each drive.

    Joe

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    Thanks for the suggestion, Joe. Ill do some testing to find out if it's the external disks that are the culprits. Thanks again.

  6. #6
    New Lounger
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    I did a full scan only of the internal disk. It took 1 h and 20 min, which still seems like a long, long time to me...

  7. #7
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    You're not the only one asking that question, wimneel. I recently installed the latest and greatest MSE. My first scan was my C: partition, and the scan took 3 hours and 46 minutes.

    My machine is a 2.4GHz P4 with 2GB of memory running an up-to-date XP Pro. My C: partition is only 50GB with 25% available free space. It's on a 160GB drive rated by Speedfan 4.4.3 as "...90% in fitness and 94% in performance", so a disk problem seems unlikely. XP's Disk Management says no defrag is required. In addition, I clone my drive every two weeks, before which I empty my Recycle Bin and run CCleaner to clear out temporary files and leftovers.

    I messaged Microsoft and received a prompt, polite response which interpreted what I said as running out of disk space. No, said I, that ain't it. I'm sayin' that MSE is S L O W, and I'd like to know why. Corruption during installation of 2.1.1116.0, says he; blow it away and reinstall. OK, says I, following his directions implicitly. Scan runs with reinstalled MSE; result is the same - nearly four hours to scan 36.7GB.

    Hmmm, says I, while blowing MSE away again and installing the previous 2.0.657 version. Again, scan runs with reinstalled MSE; result is the same - nearly four hours to scan 36.7GB. Hmmm, says I; how many files are we scanning here? MSE says 1.4 million. Huh? Let's see: 36.7GB/1,400,000 is 26KB per file...

    Well, I don't think I have 1.4m files, and I do think my average file size is bigger than a pinhead. Let's check: I opened up the command prompt to get file and directory counts from dir c:\*.* /s /b /a-d | find /c /v "" and from attrib C:\*.* /s | find /c /v "" and both said that my C: partition has a little over 106,000 files and a little over 10,000 folders.

    So I relay this back to my MS tech, and his response today is that dir and attrib are right, and I might have a virus problem so I should run Norton, ESET, Kaspersky, and AVG. Wait a minute, says I: didn't I just run not one, not two, but three MSE scans? Hmmmm. Double hmmmm.

    What do you say, wimneel? Anybody else out there wanna chip in?


  8. #8
    New Lounger
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    "Scan completed on 1 267 781 items" is what MSE says after completing the scan. Is that what you are referring to?
    This number is almost 10 times the number of files on my C: drive.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wimneel View Post
    "Scan completed on 1 267 781 items" is what MSE says after completing the scan. Is that what you are referring to?
    This number is almost 10 times the number of files on my C: drive.
    That is because it counts each registry entry as an item.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  10. #10
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    OK, so that number seems to be OK. Still, I'd say 1h and 20 min. is a bit long - or am I just impatient?
    Is there anybody else having this kind of problem with MSE?

  11. #11
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Normally you will only run a complete scan once in a while. The quick scan is sufficient for most purposes. If your internal HD is approx 100 GB Then 1 hr 20 min does not seem too long. The quick scan will scan just changed files and will be considerably quicker. The ext. HD's will take longer because of the interface. Plus you do have a lot of stuff you are scanning. I do not think the time frame is out of wack at all. I would suspect scanning this much stuff with any AV scanner will be equally time consuming. After scanning with full scan once, switch to quick scan for subsequent scans unless you suspect you have a problem.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  12. #12
    New Lounger
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    Thanks, Ted, for your reply. You are right that the quick scan is MUCH faster. I cannot compare MSE with other AV scanners, because I have only used MSE on this computer right from the beginning.

  13. #13
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I also cannot compare because I have switched to MSE on all my PC's, but if memory serves me (this is getting more hit and miss it seems) when I used other AV apps the full scanning was always very slow. That's why quick scans were invented. I guess the thought is there is no need to scan a file that has not changed. This seems reasonable to me. As I stated, you do seem to have a lot of files you are scanning, esp on the external drives, so a full scan will be very time consuming. These full scans might be better left when you don't have to be using your PC, such as when sleeping. For all other times I would suggest the quick scan is more than sufficient, unless of course you suspect an infection or other problem. And then it is probably only necessary to scan the internal HD to start.

    I would also generally not leave the ext HD's connected all the time unless there is a specific need for that. A drive that is not connected can't be infected!
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  14. #14
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    You've got two good points there, Ted. Thank you.

  15. #15
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Test Results

    Here's my test results:
    Dell 1545 Laptop, Intel i5 M430 2.27GHz {1st Gen}, 4Gb, Win 7 64 Bit SP-1.

    All programs were fully updated, program and definitions, immediately before test.
    All programs used the FULL SCAN option and the entire computer was scanned.

    1. MSE: 1:12 {Items Scanned: 775,186}
    2. MalwareBytes - Fully Updated: 1:03 {Items Scanned: 303,696}
    3. Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper: 2:36 {Items Scanned: 807,907} It does warn you "This might take a few hours..."


    Don't know how they come up with the Items Scanned count.
    Last edited by RetiredGeek; 2011-07-15 at 08:25.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    PowerShell & VBA Rule!

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